I made an app a two years ago, and then a small experiment last year. I remember the two biggest problems I had, was getting the right session key and then messing about with the redirection URLs. Otherwise most of it is straightforward back-end work in php/python/etc, so basically anything you can do on a web page, you can do with Facebook (including embedding a flash client).
Here's the situation: FaceBook let's you post very short items on your "Wall", and in a very short period of time they're gone, scrolled off the bottom of the list of "current" items. But there are often times when I've got a lot to say, and want it to be available to whoever might visit my page, whether it's today, whenI first post it, or six months from now. One item in particular, which has come up a number of times recently as I reconnect with people I knew back in high school, is a "My History" writeup, explaining what I've been doing over the intervening years. But it's not just about historical information. I might write up a long dissertation on some subject and want to have it available for people to read, anytime, no matter when they happen to visit m FaceBook page. But there's no way to do that in FaceBook. You can only post very short, temporary items.
Sure, I could go over and use MySpace or some blog site and post my writings there, and then whenever I'd liketo share it with someone onf FaceBook I can provide the link. But it's just not the same as having right there on FaceBook, available all the time. If FaceBook would provide some blogging capability then that would solve the problem. But they don't.
So, my idea is to develop an app for facebook that would provide precisely that, a blogging capability. But I've never developed an app for FaceBook (I am, however, a software engineer).
I think that, in order for this app to work, it would have to be seomthing that would always appear on the person's wall or profile page, or somehow be always available to both the writer and those who visitthe writer's page. Is that possible with a FaceBook app? Can you actually integrate an app into the general look of the person's wall or page (such as the person's photos are available for anyone to look at)?
Also, I don't know how FaceBook apps actually become available to FaceBook users. There doesn't appear to be an "app store" where users can go and look at what's available. It appears thatthe only way that apps get around are by the app developer buying advertising space on FaceBook. Yes?
And finally, I'm wondering how this app could make money. After all, why go to all the trouble of development if it doesn't have some monetary reward for the developer. Can FaceBook apps have advertisments on them? If so, are they restricted in any way as to what/wose advertisments it has? i.e. could it use Google ads on it?
If you have any insights or suggestions please let me know.
At the end of 2010, I developed a trivia game in Flash for Facebook in AS3 for the Office of Student Affairs at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. Here's a link to check it out on Facebook: http://apps.facebook.com/osaville
Some Facebook developers are upset by how sparse the documentation is. However, if you're willing to search the internet to find out just how the use the API, it's rewarding. My Facebook App connects to the API through PHP. My Facebook app requests permissions and publishes updates to players' walls.
All currently enrolled University of Hawaii Manoa students that play the game to completion are entered into a drawing for a chance to win a 2 terabyte hard drive :)